Metal!: Squash Bowels, C R O W N, Imprecation and Chthonic
On the 25th day of the 12th month of 2012, the Six-Tongued Hellgoat was summoned to arise from the ashes and bring darkness to this place called Popdose. Join him in his quest.
Ritual Thrust into the Profane Maw of Churning Filth
Squash Bowels is one of the Hellgoat’s favorite Grindcore bands, therefore the last four years had him a little worried. This is a group that between demo’s, 7″ singles, LP’s and such, have released 30 some pieces of material in 15 years leading up to their 2009 album Grindvirus. Then nothing. This is their first release since that album, so naturally one has to wonder what happened when a group that’s so prolific drops off the radar for so long. Fortunately for them, Grindvirus was really the album that got them the recognition they deserved so any new release was going to be highly anticipated at this point. I guess the Hellgoat was a little concerned before he listened as well, since there are no titles like “Shit Oneself” or “Fuck Instructor” like previous records. In fact, this one has titles like “The Theater” and “Steering.” Since the Hellgoat can’t understand a word of this, for all he knows there could be a fuck instructor shitting himself in a theater, so they might not be as tame as the titles would indicate. And of course, then the Hellgoat’s tongues started thrashing like the beast he is when he actually listened to the record.
Grindcoholism picks up right where Grindvirus left off. Back in 1994 when Squash Bowels released their first LP Tnyribal, they were a little more diverse than they are now but over the years they have went from a little different to brutally punishing. This trio isn’t just about speed. There’s a ton of killer riffs in their songs, which do of course come at you at breakneck speed in two minute bursts but this is grindcore from dudes who can really play their instruments. Grindcoholism is an assault to your eardrums from the opening track, “Tastelessness” to the last moment of the final track, “Stigmatizing.” If the Hellgoat is even allowed to say that a grindcore track is catchy, the title track of this record is just that.
The only real drawback is that it’s not really as adventurous as previous releases but that may be a small price to pay to hear new music from Squash Bowels, who nearly 20 years after forming are still making music that’s going to kick your fucking ass.
Somnolent Regurgitation of the Scrolls of Proselytism
(The Hellgoat wishes to convert you to the ways of the metal. But he prefers to let the press release and bio do most of the talking on these nefarious black circles.)
Album: C R O W N, Psychurgy
Label: Candlelight Cult Series
Release: June 18, 2013
Press: Hailing from France, C R O W N are two men and a machine who tune their neutron guitars to the Richter scale, and deliver the sound of a molten universe collapsing. Touching on early Isis, Godflesh, Floor and even Killing Joke, C R O W N explore the depths of slow tempos through sheer exuberant heaviness.
The duo’s depth-charging guitars and buried melodic tendencies on latest offering, Psychurgy, snake around hissing electronics, a tribal/military percussive thwack, and the splashing cymbals of a minimal-yet-completely-effective drum-machine. Their sound is further emboldened by a massive bestial roar, heavy and oppressive, leading to an abyss of nothingness…. C R O W N’s Psychurgy is dark, spiralng, and obscure and a music trip you won’t soon forget.
The Hellgoat’s Take (9.5/10): The Hellgoat was a big fan of the 2012 EP (The One) which was a really cool slab of doom metal. Psychurgy marks their debut LP and it pushes their previous formula to the limits. The album is heavy as hell but also features a drone-like feel at points as well a bit of post-metal influence. The comparisons to all the bands listed above are totally on point. This French two piece has a lot of the pieces of the latest Killing Joke record going for it and Isis surely comes to mind as well. The Hellgoat has been looking for an Isis replacement for a long while and he’s found it right here. If you haven’t heard of them by now, it’s time to put C R O W N in your head. These guy are on to something truly awesome.
Press: Hailing from Texas, Imprecation have been firmly entrenched in death metal’s underground since their inception in 1991. The early 90s saw the band release a couple of acclaimed demos and an EP (Drowned Records) followed by a compilation of material in 1995 titled Theurgia Goetia Summa on Repulse Records (later reissued several times). Not long after this essential death metal compilation, the band went on hiatus until its resurrection in 2009. Cited as highly influential by many death metal bands today, Imprecation’s long-awaited debut full-length, Satanae Tenebris Infinita is Imprecation in top form. Satanae Tenebris Infinita is definitely not a departure from Imprecation’s earlier style but a continuation of the destiny that was interrupted due to the band’s break back in 1998.
The Hellgoat’s Take (6.5/10): This is standard by-the-books blackened death. There’s nothing spectacular about the record, there’s nothing really shitty about it either. You’ve just heard it before. If you’re into the genre, then you should like this just fine.
Press: With Bú-Tik, Chthonic continue their mission to build awareness of the myths of Taiwan and the tragic events in their country’s history. Based around the story of the 228 Massacre, the Bú-Tik Palace and the Mirror Of Retribution, Bú-Tik highlights what bassist Doris Yeh describes as “righteous violence, justifiable defense, and the armed spirits!”
The Hellgoat’s Take (6.5/10): The Hellgoat is a fan of Chthonic mainly because they are a little different than most bands. Now, is their brand of “Orient Metal” unique in their homeland of Taiwan? That the Hellgoat doesn’t know. But in the US, sounds of the orient in metal are few and far between so they definitely bring something new to the US audience. The Hellgoat has been listening to it for weeks and couldn’t help but read some of the praise about the record. Yes, the use of traditional oriental folk sounds is worked in very nicely within the disc but to the Hellgoat’s ears Bú-Tik sounds like its one breakdown away from being a metalcore record and that’s not cool at all. Take that for what it’s worth though as is doesn’t seem like many other infernal humans hear the same thing. Maybe it’s only sounds a goat can hear?